Countdown Spectacular 2: Here comes the encore again

It rained all day in Brisbane, so the half-kilometre walk from Boondall station to the Entertainment Centre was a puddle-dodging exercise. That didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd, which seemed to contain a few more people around my age than Newcastle. No-one was likely to assume we were here for an Eminem concert, though.

So what else was different? Well, the most welcome news was that Plastic Bertrand showed up this time, and did ‘Ca Plan Pour Moi’ with massive energy and enthusiasm (“he’s very fit, isn’t he?” the woman next to me remarked). Great stuff, and it kept the momentum up by being inserted in second slot, straight after Katrina.

To make room for this, and presumably for general timing, there were a number of cuts throughout the show. The Radiators dropped ‘No Tragedy’, Supernaut dropped ‘Too Hot To Handle’, and LRB skipped their mystery song I wasn’t sure of.

There were also a few shifts. Redgum got moved to the opening of Act 2 (the same slot Goanna got last year, one might note). I can’t help thinking the women in front of me doing a slow wave with tinsel throughout the song hadn’t quite got the point.

Richard Clapton swapped ‘Girls On The Avenue’ and ‘Deep Water’, and Rick Springfield jumped into the audience for ‘Jesse’s Girl’ rather than ‘Don’t Talk To Strangers’.

Pretty much everyone on stage was on vocal form. Sam Fox was even better than before, and Sharon, Kate and Martha continue to astound. Graham Bonnet sounded a tad shouty, and maintained the impression he was reading an autocue.

But by far the biggest change — and the biggest improvement — was the addition of a proper finale, a group rendition of ‘My Generation’. The sight of Kate, Sam and Sharon sharing a microphone isn’t one I’ll forget in a hurry.

Next stop: Sydney on Friday.

Random points:

  • Brisbane Entertainment Centre doesn’t ban cameras, so I’ll upload some piss-poor photos tomorrow.
  • Thanks to Rick Springfield And Us for linking to the Newcastle review.
  • Most artists stuck to their stage outfits, though Sharon O’Neill added purple accents and Robin Scott donned a white T-shirt instead of a red one.
  • The Brisbane audience seemed a tad noisier than Newcastle, though that could be overall crowd size.
  • Ignatius Jones ended his set by proclaiming “Check these tits out, Kevin Rudd!”
  • Molly and Martha repeated their faux marriage proposal, though with a better punchline for Martha’s rejection: “We’d be like the Golden Girls.”
  • Kudos to the event organisers for making sure that an extra train was scheduled for after the show so we could all get home. Newcastle’s once-an-hour service didn’t stretch that far, so I ended up walking back to my hotel, but the city does deserve praise for having lots of street signs — something which I, as an inveterate walker and person with no sense of direction or geographic confidence, can confirm is all too rare.
  • No praise, though, for not opening more doors at the end of the show. It took 10 minutes to clear the corridor, which could have been sliced in half if they hadn’t locked every visible exit.
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